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BirdLife International is a global alliance of conservation organisations working together for the world's birds and people.
Updated: 1 week 6 min ago

Plastic killed albatross chick on nest, bycatch a huge threat at sea

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 06:56

Over the last few weeks in the UK, Blue Planet 2 has led us on an incredible journey of discovery. We’ve encountered bizarre and uncanny creatures from the deepest oceans. We’ve been astonished by previously unknown behaviours, including a particularly ingenious octopus who disguised itself with shells to evade a shark. And we’ve been provided with new nightmare fuel in the form of the voracious Bobbit worm… 

For me and many other viewers, the stories that linger longest are the ones showing the huge impact we humans have on our oceans. I will readily admit to being reduced to tears more than once watching the Pilot Whale mother cling to her dead calf (possibly been poisoned by her toxic milk), the sperm whale trying to eat a bucket... and the majestic Wandering Albatross chick killed by a plastic toothpick.

Clones vs drones: Tahiti battles nine invasive species to save iconic bird

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 13:07

When its recovery program started in 1998, conservationists were only able to locate 12 Tahiti Monarch Pomarea nigra individuals. We already know that invasive species are a huge problem for island birds, but on its home island of Tahiti, the Monarch was cursed with not one, but nine invasive menaces, all ranked among the 100 most invasive species on the planet.

Against such staggering odds, some conservationists might have declared the beleaguered passerine a lost cause: with the population so low, and the predators so unmanageable, they might have argued that the cost of saving it was too high.

Stars of the Red List: two kiwi species are no longer Endangered

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:27

Whoever said dinosaurs are extinct has never seen a kiwi. As dusk approaches, you can hear their calls echoing from New Zealand’s native forest. As you venture in, you spot their large, three-pronged footprints imprinted in the earth. And there’s nothing to prepare you for the sight of this unique flightless bird. Eyewitnesses have said that the only real way to describe a kiwi is like a vestige from the Jurassic era: big and heavy, it moves in a completely unique way, swaying its hindquarters to power its thick, strong legs. It’s a surreal sight.

But unlike its dinosaurian ancestors, it doesn’t look like the kiwi needs to fear extinction any time soon. Thanks to nearly 30 years of dedication from government bodies, local conservation groups and the Maori community, two species of kiwi have become the stars of the 2017 Red List: Rowi Apteryx rowi and Northern Brown Kiwi A. mantelli have just been downlisted from Endangered to Vulnerable.

Fly with Greater spotted eagles!

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 13:14

Eight Greater spotted Eagles tagged in southern Belarus started their autumn migration in September. Now you can watch them online!


Where do birds go in winter?” – as children, all of us probably asked our parents this question. Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the answer is but a click away. This year, APB-BirdLife Belarus invites you to fly alongside – not one, not two…but eight – Greater spotted eagles throughout their autumn migration.

Cackling Goose

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 07:55
'Through the Lens', Fujingaho Magazine, December 2017

Click here to view pdf

Tangled and drowned: new study links penguin declines with fishing activity

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 02:01

Long-time followers of BirdLife’s work will be very familiar with the ongoing issue of accidental seabird capture (or bycatch) in fisheries, which has driven declines in many globally threatened marine species. For over a decade, we have made remarkable progress in reducing albatross bycatch in collaboration with fishermen through our Albatross Task Force, both by designing and testing innovative solutions at-sea (such as bird-scaring lines), and through our advocacy work, which has helped to pass new national laws which have turned some of the world’s most deadly fisheries, such as those in Namibia, ‘seabird-safe’.

Is this Guam bird coming back from extinction in the wild?

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 09:32

Earlier this year, the world held its breath as North Korea’s crosshairs were aimed towards the tiny island of Guam, an overseas territory of the USA in the Western Pacific. International media hastily referred to Guam as a strategically important US military base, but this volcanic coral island is of course also home to 184,000 Guamanians (US citizens, including native Chamorro people of Austronesian descent); a bustling tourism hotspot (particularly for Asian tourists); as well as habitat for a whole legion of animals and plants. Except for the Guam Rail Hypotaenidia owstoni, that is...

Winner of the Pablo Canevari Award 2017: Wayne Burke of Barbados

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 18:49

On behalf of Manomet, administer of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Executive Office, we are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 Pablo Canevari award is Wayne Burke! The award was announced during the 7th Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group meeting in Paracas, Peru.

Wayne’s early life centered on the beach, where he learnt about shorebirds from his father. After a varied career as a surfer, yachtsman and blacksmith, and a spell in Canada where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Geography, Wayne became the wetland manager and naturalist at the Graeme Hall Swamp. During this time he also led the identification of Important Bird Areas and wrote the Barbados chapter for the Caribbean IBA book.

Wayne's early life centred on the beach, where he learnt about shorebirds from his father

Important new breeding sites of mythical ibis discovered

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 10:24

As the day drew to a close, the orange light reflecting from the Atlantic seemed to soften the texture of the sun-baked Moroccan cliffs so much so they looked like they could crumble in an instant. There the birds were: perched on a couple of sloping, sandstone ledges, an entire colony of about 20 settling in for the night, low squawks and rustles heard above the scouring waves only a few metres below. Birds often nest in precarious places, and despite the cliffs in Tamri, southwest Morocco, actually being pretty strong, by knowing this species’ Critically Endangered status, you cannot help but feel a little worried for these large, iridescent-black creatures.

The Bird Bulletin: Europe & Central Asia

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:13

The Bird Bulletin – bringing you beak-sized updates from across Europe & Central Asia and beyond.


One fine day in Poland… – BirdLife applauds the EU Court of Justice ruling that Poland is subject to a potential daily fine of €100,000 if they continue illegal logging in Europe’s last primeval forest, Białowieża.

Exploring the untouched island of Vatuvara

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:10

The island of Vatuvara perfectly embodies the intrigue and beauty of the South Pacific islands. Located in the north of Fiji’s Lau group, the 800-hectare island has been uninhabited for most of human history. This is due in part to the absence of a permanent water source – but the sharp, unforgiving coral terrain certainly doesn’t help.

For a time, the island hosted a fortified village atop the 300-metre summit – no doubt a strategic lookout point for Fijian warriors. But apart from a desperate attempt at coconut production during Fiji’s plantation era, Vatuvara has largely been spared the impacts of human influence. And that includes many invasive species common on other South Pacific islands – making Vatuvara an invaluable refuge for wildlife.